In Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehmet Oz’s hammering of Democrat John Fetterman’s weak record on crime has given him momentum in the final weeks of the campaign. The Cook Political Report moved the race from “Lean Democrat” to “Toss-up” in their latest race ratings.
In Oregon, voters are starting to see that Democrats have let the criminal class rule the streets and that the only remedy is to support Republicans who will be tough on crime and clean up the streets, and now Republican Christine Drazan is leading Democrat Tina Kotek in several recent polls. The Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball each moved the Oregon governor’s race from “Lean Democrat” to “Toss-Up” last month.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) is also making crime a key issue of his gubernatorial campaign. Last month, Zeldin released a statewide campaign ad blaming Hochul for the rise in crime on her watch. The ad featured 13 clips of actual crimes caught on video in New York. “You’re looking at actual violent crimes caught on camera in Kathy Hochul’s New York,” the ad’s narrator explains. “And it’s getting much worse on Kathy Hochul’s watch.”
The ad ends by telling voters, “on November 8th vote like your life depends on it. It just might.”
According to the New York Police Department, there was a spike of 25.6% in burglaries, 37.2% in robberies, and 40.6% in grand thefts in New York City in the month of July.
In the most recent survey conducted by the Trafalgar Group, Zeldin is currently trailing Hochul by a mere two points — which is within the poll’s margin of error. According to the poll, Hochul is in the lead with 44.5% of the vote, while Zeldin has 42.6%. It sure looks like Zeldin’s attack on Hochul’s performance on the issue of criminal justice have been effective.
— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) October 6, 2022
This sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Could a Republican actually win the governor’s race in deep-blue New York State? Considering that most polls show Hochul with a comfortable double-digit lead, and she leads the RealClearPolitics average by 11 points, it’s easy to dismiss Trafalgar’s results as an outlier. However, Trafalgar has a reputation for accuracy that cannot be dismissed. When most polls predicted Hillary Clinton would win in 2016, the Trafalgar Group not only correctly predicted Trump’s victory but also that he would get 306 electoral votes.
Like we’ve seen in other states, Zeldin appears to have some momentum going into the final stretch of the campaign. The previous Trafalgar Group poll had Hochul ahead 47.8% to Zeldin’s 43.4% — a lead of just over four points. So that means Zeldin isn’t just really close to Hochul now, but he’s also gaining.
Like other Republican candidates nationwide, Zeldin is making crime a huge issue of the campaign, and that is likely the main issue contributing to his competitiveness. Democrats went all in a couple of years on defunding the police and ending cash bail, and the results are too much even for longtime Democrat voters to ignore. It’s clear that Democrats are letting criminals rule the streets, making them unsafe for law-abiding citizens. With a few weeks left to go before voters go to the polls, this is clearly the issue that Republicans have to hammer down as they make their final pitches to the voters.